Biggest Bingo Companies

mecca bingo hall screenshot
Credit: .Martin./Flickr.com

Bingo has become one of the mainstay games of the gambling world, and multiple companies have raised their profiles to become the biggest in action. Each one has, of course, started out as a small organisation looking to provide avid players with bingo options, and has gone on to grow considerably since then.

It is here that we take a look at the biggest bingo companies in existence. We’ll also be looking at any innovations that they have introduced to the bingo world, which software providers they work with and any other special features relative to the companies. Without further ado, here are the biggest bingo companies for you to get to grips with.

Mecca Bingo (The Rank Group)

Current Revenue Employees HQ Location No of Customers
£134.1 million (Mecca) 7,300 (Rank) Maidenhead, UK 1,000,000+

If you live in the United Kingdom, it’s more than likely that you’ve seen a land-based bingo establishment called Mecca Bingo. They have around 50 bingo halls in towns and cities up and down the country, so you’re never far away from one.

The company hasn’t always been known by this name, though. As it happens, Mecca Bingo was previously operating under the name of Top Rank before a takeover and rebranding by The Rank Group.

This is a UK-based umbrella company that owns Mecca Bingo as well as the popular Grosvenor Casino chain, plus a Spanish gaming brand called Enracha. The Rank Group also operate online, and are expanding in this area, with their acquisition of Stride Gaming being a perfect example.

Mecca bingo hall club screenshot

Mecca actually began operating bingo games back in 1953, when a man by the name of Eric Morley became the director of Mecca’s UK dance halls. He helped to popularise the game throughout the UK, by introducing it to these halls, changing it from a small catering and dancing firm into a leading entertainment and catering company.

It was in 1990 that the Rank Organisation made an offer of £512 million in order to acquire the Mecca Leisure Group. The offer may have initially been rejected, but it was later accepted after a two-month period. A mainstay throughout the UK ever since, Mecca Bingo has grown considerably, and has even received awards such as Bingo Operator of the Year at the International Gaming Awards, and Most Socially Responsible.

Mecca Ventures Out

mecca bingoBingo halls are the sole focus of Mecca’s services these days, and this is clear throughout the UK. However, the brand has also branched out to try and incorporate the game of bingo into various other locations in the past. For example, they tried to introduce bingo to the Luda Café in the town of Walsall. This was an alternative venue that provided a retro gaming experience to visitors, where not only bingo was available, but arcade games and more. The aim was to engage a younger audience, but since Luda has since closed down, it’s safe to assume it didn’t work out as planned.

The brand has also signed promotional deals with carefully selected celebrities. Ex-singer and star of Strictly Come Dancing, Louise Redknapp, was one of these in 2017. This saw her appear in the newest television advertisements for the brand, while Mecca went on to launch its new £5,000 Daily Jackpots promotion alongside.

Gala Bingo (Entain)

Current Revenue Employees HQ Location No of Customers
£4.7 billion (Entain) 24,000 (Entain) Isle of Man, UK 5,000,000+
gala bingo hall screenshot
Credit: ElliottBrown/Flickr.com

Gala Bingo is owned by Entain Plc (formerly GVC Holdings) and has been around since 1991, operating as a division of Bass Plc. In its later years, it became an independent company before being acquired by the Coral Eurobet group in 2005.

The largest number of clubs ever owned by Gala stood at 174, which is why it is still such a well known brand in the UK. Once the smoking ban was introduced in 2007, that number swiftly declined to about 140.

Then, in 2015 all 126 Gala Bingo clubs were sold to Caledonia Investments for £241 million. It was also in 2015 that Gala Coral were acquired by rivals, Ladbrokes. The land-based bingo halls were not part of that deal, but the online brand was, so Gala was split in two.

A few years later, the high street Gala venues had been rebranded as Buzz Bingo, and the Gala brand began to fade. Caledonia sold the clubs to Intermediate Capital Group in 2021.

So Gala was now an online only brand, and their owner, Ladbrokes Coral, were acquired by GVC Holdings, now known as Entain. So now, all online Gala Bingo operations are operated by Entain.

Playtech Power to In House Platform

playtech mobile bingo screenshotSince it began its online operations in 2005, Gala Bingo was powered by the Playtech software developer. It’s one reason why this brand remained one of the most popular bingo platforms on the internet.

However, Entain was keen to bring this side of things in-house, so after they bought Cozy, they developed their own network, called it Electraworks, and now Gala runs on that instead.

Gala boasts more five million online bingo members, and about 1.2 million of those are considered active players. Additionally, reports suggest that an average of 600,000 admissions occur on the website every week.

Interestingly, it was through Gala Bingo that the UK’s first online bingo millionaire was made. In July of 2007, pensioner Pauline Clarke won a tie break against another online player to to bag £1,000,000.

The brand has always been good with marketing, never afraid to try new things. Their television commercials are always inventive and eye catching, and they even had its own television channel, Gala TV, which would air bingo games throughout the day between 2006 and 2011.

William Hill (888)

Current Revenue Employees HQ Location No of Customers
£1.71 billion (William Hill) 10,000+ London, UK 3,000,000+ (Online)

William Hill Bingo website homepageMost people hear the name William Hill and immediately think of sports betting. After all, that’s what the company is most famous for, having operated high street bookie shops since the 1960s.

Yet, in an online setting, William Hill also provides casino games, poker options, and bingo gaming.

This is another brand that utilises the software of Playtech to provide exciting bingo games, and this is a long standing relationship that began in 2007. There are numerous rooms for players to access and enjoy different games of bingo, with the added bonus of Playtech side games which are among the best in the industry.

William Hill has gone through a mass of takeovers during its time, with the early 2020s seeing the brand change hands twice – first bought by American company, Caesars, who stripped out what they wanted then sold the European assets to 888. It is they that now run William Hill in Europe and the UK.

Partnerships and Awards

william hillWhile it’s true that takeovers have occurred, William Hill has done its own share of acquisitioning in the past.

For example, in 2005, they purchased 624 betting offices in the UK, Republic of Ireland, Isle of man and Jersey from Stanley Leisure. That deal cost the company £504 million, and it helped them briefly soar beyond Ladbrokes as the prime betting provider in the UK in terms of shops owned.

Three years later, William Hill entered into a partnership with Orbis, which later became Openbet, as well as the aforementioned Playtech, in a bit to sort out its online operations, which had suffered a steep decline in revenue.

It was in 2017 that William Hill Bingo won its first Playtech Award, signifying that the union paid off in more ways than one. And even though the company was hit by the reduction in maximum bets able to be placed on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) in the UK, it remains a popular online site for bingo players.

Bet365

Current Revenue Employees HQ Location No of Customers
£3.39 billion 7,000 Stoke-on-Trent, UK 45,000,000+ Globally

Perhaps you knew bet365 would make this list. It’s the biggest online sports betting operator in the UK, and that says a lot for a company that hasn’t been around as long as the others on this list. Founded in 2000 and operating out of a Portakabin in Stoke-on-Trent, Denise Coates is the woman responsible for building Bet365 up to the mammoth gambling operation that it is today.

Sports betting remains a prime specialty of the Bet365 website, but to accompany this, there are numerous other gambling opportunities at the site, including bingo gaming. This was a later addition to Bet365, but is now a hugely popular area of the site.

It didn’t take a huge amount of time for the company to soar to the top of the popularity and achievements charts. This is also due to the fact that Bet365 introduced various innovative features to its site for players to utilise.

Some of the awards that have been won by the brand include the Operator of the Year accolade at the eGaming Review Operator Awards, and Sportsbook of the Year for sixth consecutive years from the SBC Awards.

Bet365 Remains in Prime Position

bet365 bingoBet365 remains in the prime position for betting and gaming in the United Kingdom. Figures reported in March 2018 showed that the online site had taken sports wagers of around £52.56 billion, with a revenue of £2.86 billion and an operating profit of £660.3 million.

As you can see from the information above, that revenue number has climbed even higher since then.

Where bingo is concerned, Bet365 offers its players 20 different rooms to choose from, and there are various special promotions that members can partake in, too. Playtech is the developer that provides bingo software to Bet365, which is another reason that it holds such popularity with players. On the whole, it makes for a compelling online bingo site, and works very nicely in tandem with the other gambling options provided by the brand.